Spring 2012 Ferry User Survey

Inevitably, the County Council will ask once again, “What do islanders want?”  or “What’s the island consensus?”  Such questions are siblings of the unanswerable classics in pop psychology,  “What do men want?” and “What do women want?”  But the Council will ask and probably soon. If asked this way, islanders are apt to give similarly simplistic but diverse answers — not a clear “consensus” (an over-used terms with multiple definitions, depending on who users it).

A reasonable way forward would for “Someone” be to run a well-crafted survey to answer meaningful and useful questions about ferry-user usage, needs and preferences.

Here’s a survey that Pierce County Public Works conducted for users of the Anderson Island / Ketron Island ferry this spring, courtesy of Rich Frye.  Perhaps this could be a departure point for a survey for Whatcom County Ferry users.

Now if only Good Ol’ Someone would step forward to do all the work . .  .  and take all the flack . . .  and for free, of course . . .  😉  On a more practical note, Skagit County successfully ran its Guemes Island ferry user satisfaction survey this spring by partnering with WSU Extension and the Guemes Island Ferry Committee (see details and results here).

3 thoughts on “Spring 2012 Ferry User Survey

  1. Here’s the rub: No two people ride a ferry for the same reason (school, work, appointments, groceries/gas, vacations TO Lummi island, etc etc.) And the crazy mainland bias that it’s a Lummi Island ferry for islanders and not a county ferry for mainlanders as well. My point is diversity is what we should be looking at not a one-size-fits all. And as we all know this changes over time. 4 years ago there were long lines and walk-ons were encouraged. Now just the opposite. What’s a rider to do?

  2. I have a little bit of experience in putting together online surveys… If someone can help narrow down the information that is being looked for, I’ll put together the survey and tabulate the results.

    • I’m not sure anyone (esp. in the County) is ready for a survey quite yet, BUt … perhaps as LIFAC moves forward and they/we figure out just what questions need (survey-based) answers, I hope they’ll keep you in mind. You might want to let them know you could help. They don’t have an official email yet, but you can call Stu Clarke (VP) and tell him, or show up at their meeting next Monday and tell them, during the open comment period.

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